It’s a trait adopted by many tradesmen over the years primarily learning from our mistakes and reducing the risk of it happening again. In fact a mark of a good tradesman is often apparent when misfortune strikes (usually when distracted) and getting over the issue. Talking of distraction I was never a fan of mobile phones out on site and made a point of leaving them in the van to keep my team’s mind firmly on the task in hand. And talking about hands, I still have all of my fingers and thumbs firmly attached, so i’m sure it’s something to do with taking my work seriously and sticking to that rule.
My words in the previous paragraph are worthy of serious consideration to anyone newly acquainted with tools and working with their hands. It’s soon apparent those of us who managed a career on the tools also used our heads with considerable affect, 99% of accidents are the result of poor practices whilst 1% are due to bad luck generally caused by poor practices.
We are all aware of health & safety but common sense is a big factor of being aware of how distractions could cause serious injury, it’s worth considering what might enhance the chances of this occurring whilst cutting materials, especially when using electric powered tools. If you use tools for your hobby they need to be treated seriously, as if it was your real job.
Power tools offer speed and ease in many cases but also carry risk, I’ve always thought that unskilled people should receive training to use them before tackling DIY projects and i’m quite surprised by the fact HSE allow the sale of these electrical goods without it.
Tip for young trades persons on sites: Never presume, it may just come back and bite you with serious consequences especially when using electrical tools that someone else has used, never assume others working around you are competent or focused on the job in hand either. Just like driving a car, always anticipate the worst possible scenario and take steps to avoid bad situations.
Recognising signs : When seeing someone using brute force with tools other than a lump hammer this suggests a lack of experience, which again inevitably results in them painfully gaining it at some point in the future.
Working with hand tools obviously reduces the risk of serious injury however never underestimate them as some can still cause serious injury especially when using the wrong tool for the job in hand. Hand tools also offer a higher degree of connection to the materials being worked on which then transcends into better concentration levels which are important for electrical powered tools. Developing lost or diminishing skills of maintaining hand tools is all part of the reason it should be appealing to those who want to master them, yet this again also helps with knowing when power tools require new blades etc.
It’s also worth remembering that all tools regardless or whether they are powered or not should never be forced to do the job in hand. Allow the tool to do the work, you are its chief guide and not its whipping master chief. Nurture and coach the tools through the work and they will reward you with lasting a whole lot longer.
Good tradesmen make doing things look easy but in all cases when you study their actions it’s all done with subtle things such as how they hold tools and the positions they get into before tackling each part of any project. It’s all to do with the processes that have run though their minds, the vision to see the end result and the concentration levels when they are really needed. They will have a measured approach and will tackle the task step by step whilst being well aware of the next stages of the project but with so much thought needed the simple things like measuring can often be mistaken, that’s why so many learn to measure twice and cut once.